VALENTINE’S DAY CHICKEN PARMESAN

Chicken Parmesan has garnered a reputation as a favorite date night entrée to order out in restaurants across the country. With the pandemic continuing to put the kibosh on indoor restaurant dining, we recommend playing it safe this Valentine’s Day and whipping up our delicious recipe for Chicken Parmesan in the cozy comfort of your own kitchen.

Our Roman Holiday Italian Seasoning Blend adds just the right note of warming spice to the recipe and we’ll even grant permission to use a favorite brand of jarred tomato sauce (we like Rao’s “Homemade” Marinara) in lieu of making the sauce from scratch to allow for less time cooking and more time to linger over enjoying a romantic home-cooked dinner.

Just don’t forget to garnish your labor of love with the suggested mozzarella hearts.

Written by Sarah Leah Chase

Sarah Leah Chase moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, as a year-round resident in 1980 and opened a specialty food shop and catering business called Que Sera Sarah, which soon became an island institution.

Sarah develops recipes and concepts for her husband Nigel’s specialty food company, Coastal Goods. She lives with her family on Cape Cod, where she enjoys oystering and gardening as much as cooking.

Ingredients:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Coastal Goods Peppered Salt

2 large eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1 ½ cups panko crumbs

2 teaspoons Coastal Goods Roman Holiday Italian Seasoning Blend

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 ½ pounds thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

1/3 cup canola oil

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Prepare a station for coating the chicken cutlets by setting up three shallow dishes. In the first dish, combine the flour with the Peppered Salt. In the second dish, beat together the 2 eggs with the tablespoon of water. In the third dish, combine the panko crumbs with the Roman Holiday Italian Seasoning and grated Parmesan.

3. Prepare each chicken cutlet by dipping first into the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, followed by a dip into the egg mixture, and then into the seasoned panko crumbs. Take care to see the cutlets get coated evenly all over with the crumbs. Set each coated chicken cutlet aside on a wire rack (like those used for cooling cookies) as it gets prepared.

4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large straight-sided skillet until it is hot but not smoking. Add the chicken cutlets cooking and flipping once until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.

5. Pour 2/3 of the Marinara sauce over the bottom of a large square or oval gratin dish. Arrange the chicken cutlets in an even layer on top of the sauce. Slice the fresh mozzarella into ¼-inch-thick slices. Using a 1 ½-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you have chicken cutlets from the slices of cheese. Center the hearts on top of each chicken cutlet. Spoon the rest of the Marinara sauce over and around the chicken cutlets. Cut the scraps of mozzarella and any remaining slices into ¼-inch dice and scatter them, along with the grated Parmesan over and around the chicken cutlets. Finally, scatter half of the minced parsley over the top.

6. Bake the Chicken Parmesan in the center of the oven until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, run the dish underneath the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to impart a golden crust to the cheese. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the rest of the parsley, and serve hot on top of a bed of cooked spaghetti, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

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